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AMERICAN ANTIQUARIAN SOCIETY. 



THE RELATIONS BETWEEN 



HAMILTON AND WASHINGTON. 



REPORT OF THE COUNCIL, 



OCTOBER 22, 1883. 



PRINTED BY CHARLES HAMILTON, 

311 Main S T keet. 
1884. 



( 



REPORT OF THE COUNCIL. 



The Council respectfully present to the American Antiqua- 
rian Society a report for the seventy-first anniversary. 
The report of Nathaniel Paine, Esq., Treasurer, to the 
Council, is presented as a lucid statement of the finances of 
the Society in the care of that able and faithful officer, who 
is equally distinguished by his antiquarian labors. This 
report, approved by the Auditors, requires little comment. 
The aggregate of funds, $77,181.31, with a diminished and 
decreasing income, will appear insufficient for the increas- 
ing labors and expenses occasioned by the enlargement and 
more active use of the library. In our past experience, 
these exigencies have been supplied by self-sacrifice, volun- 
tary work and timely gifts. But there is a limit to this. 
The most urgent need is in the Publication Fund ; and this 
presents itself in such a "questionable shape," that we will 
hope for favorable responses as in time past. An incident 
that occurred when the Treasurer was finishing his report, 
encourages us to rely on the good-will of our friends. He 
pleasantly mentions the gift of one hundred dollars for 
the Publishing Fund from our associate, Rev. Robert C. 
Waterston, to whom the Society has been repeatedly 
indebted for contributions of his learning and taste to aid 
its progress. 

The report of Mr. Edmund M. Barton, the Librarian, to 
the Council, is presented as an interesting and satisfactory 
account of his department. It would be unnecessary and 
unfair to select the attractive details for the improvement 
of this communication, but there is occasion for a few 
remarks. The library must be considered, first in its 



operation, and second in its condition and its growth. It 
is, in an uncommon degree, the heart of our society ; the 
fountain of its life and action. Most of the numerous 
valuable writings published by the Society are connected 
with the library in the way of suggestion or assistance. 
Much of* the time and pains of Mr. Barton and of Mr. 
Reuben Colton, the Assistant-Librarian, has been employed 
in directing, supplying and corresponding with investi- 
gators, in addition to the duty of producing books that are 
asked for. The simple statement of Mr. Barton, that 
there were more investigators in the library this summer 
than ever before in the warm season, indicates a large 
amount of patient and generous labor. Such investigations 
can be noticed only in general terms ; for it would be 
offensive and injurious to expose to the public the private 
studies of scholars. It is known to the Council that the 
Librarians have been cheered in this work by grateful 
acknowledgment of such benefits as the effect of a contem- 
porary map to illustrate one of the earliest battles of our 
colonies, or of a forgotten book that gave a new or a 
stronger light to a passage of history. 

The little book containing a "Partial Index to the 
Proceedings," by Mr. Stephen Salisbury, Jr., and "a table 
of the contents" of the Archseologia Americana and other 
separate publications of the Society, by Mr. Nathaniel 
Paine, brings into light the forgotten fruit of faithful 
antiquarian study. It is brief and partial for economy and 
convenience. But it is large enough to make the Society 
and its doings better known. 

It is the happiness of this Society that it has been recog- 
nized as an institution useful and worthy of support by 
those who have not the duties of membership. In the last 
half-year there has been given by members ninety-one 
books and seven hundred and eleven pamphlets ; by friends 
three hundred and eighty-two books and one thousand 
three hundred and four pamphlets. 



The good that Hon. Isaac Davis did to the Society, 
lived after him in the generous gift from his family of one 
thousand three hundred and four valuable books from 
his library, and other desirable objects mentioned by the 
Librarian. 

In the last month this Society had the privilege of apply- 
ing the legacy of $5,000, from John J. Cooke, Esq., of 
Providence, R. I., to the purchase of books at the second 
auction sale of his costly library. After careful study and 
marking of the sale catalogue by the Librarians, with the 
assistance of Mr. Nathaniel Paine, Mr. Barton bought 
seven hundred £ood and needed volumes in excellent 
editions. It is said the third and last sale will offer the 
American books, which are most interesting to us. The 
scheme adopted by Mr. Cooke to distribute his rich library 
where it will do most good, by the privilege of purchase to 
the amount of $5,000, given to ten institutions, works 
smoothly, and promises to accomplish the best results. 

In the last six months this Society has received from 
various sources mentioned in the Librarian's report, three 
thousand and two bound volumes, three thousand two 
hundred and sixteen pamphlets, and one hundred and nine 
volumes of newspapers. The time has come when those 
who have entertained the ambition for the size of our 
library, must give it up. It is not easy to find the best 
places for the last accession. The building cannot be 
extended without difficulty. The growth of a library is 
not an unmixed good. It is possible to put many books on 
shelves above the alcoves, but it is not possible to use them 
freely there. It is an old notion with us, and it has 
recently been made popular, that a library like silver has 
no beauty, "nisi temperato splendeat usu." The books in 
our library are so well selected and they are so connected 
together, that they cannot be reduced by decimation. The 
necessity of growth to the life of a library, and other 
considerations, invite us to a discussion for which there is 



no tim.e. The evil threatens those who come after us, and 
their wisdom may devise a remedy. 

In the last six months this Society had occasion to take 
notice of the finished work of two respected associates. 
On May 12, 1883, Hon. Israel Washburn, Jr., LL.D., of 
Portland, Maine, died suddenly of heart disease at Phila- 
delphia, where he was receiving medical treatment for his 
impaired health. He was born in Livermore, Maine, June 
6, 1813. He was a worthy member of a family distin- 
guished for enterprise and success in business, and for 
public service. He began mature life as a lawyer, and it 
is said he was successful ; but he was soon engaged in 
productive business, and was called to public duties. He 
had a high reputation for integrity, good judgment and 
administrative ability. After serving in the Legislature of 
his State, he was a member of Congress from 1851 to 1861, 
and was recognized as a leader there. From 1861 to 1863, 
the most anxious period of the late civil war, he was the 
Governor of Maine, and he has a brilliant record for giving 
efficiency to the patriotic contributions of that State by 
labors that were supposed to be the cause of the decay of 
his health in his last years. He accepted membership in 
this Society in April, 1882, with cordiality, and sent to the 
library his valuable published writings, chiefly historical 
and prepared for the Maine Historical Society. His brief 
membership gives us only the satisfaction of remembering 
him as a collateral worker and an honorable associate. 

Hon. John Denison Baldwin, A.M., who died at his 
home in Worcester, on the 8th of July last, had a threefold 
connection with this Society. 1st. He was the successor 
of Dr. Isaiah Thomas, our founder, in being a proprietor 
and an able and prosperous editor of the Massachusetts 
Spy, 1 a weekly newspaper established by Dr. Thomas in 
1770, when he was twenty-one years old, to sustain the 



1 A daily edition, tl e Worcester Daily Spy, was established by the late John 
3Iilton Earle, July 25 , 1845, and is still issued. 



patriotism of the country, and Mr. Baldwin carried it on 
with the same purpose. 2d. Mr. Baldwin displayed his 
kinship with us, by his volumes on Prehistoric Man and 
Ancient America, the fruit of antiquarian studies of which 
he was fond. 3d. Since he was elected a member in 1869, 
he has made valuable additions to this library, from his 
opportunities as a publisher; and in 1878 on occasion of 
the reinterment of Dr. Thomas, he gave a very interesting 
account of the first years of his newspaper. 

Mr. Baldwin was born in North Stonington, Conn.. 
September 28, 1809. He studied as an undergraduate and 
in the Divinity School of Yale College, and afterwards 
received from that learned institution, the honorary degree 
of Master of Arts. His education was obtained with diffi- 
culty, but it was w T ell grounded and progressive. He was 
a calm and forcible reasoner. In speech he was not fluent 
or graceful, but the language of his pen was distinct and 
persuasive. His large frame and grave utterance did not 
promise the variety and adaptation that were found in his 
life and writings. He began as a clergyman, and preached 
in a Methodist church, and successively in three Congrega- 
tional churches, where he is remembered with respect and 
satisfaction. In the Legislature of Connecticut, as Chair- 
man of the Committee on Education, he introduced the bill 
to incorporate the first Normal school of that State. His 
published writings were various, and among them was ,*i 
volume of poems printed in his youth. His duties in the 
Legislature led him to acquaint himself with political 
management and to engage in journalism, for which he had 

© © © •' 7 

great capacity. He was a member of Congress for six 
years of faithful service. He returned home to occupy the 
decline of his life with editorial labors for his time-honored 
journal, and with historical studies and writings, in which 
he took much pleasure. 

In conformity with custom, the Council will add, n> 
an expression of active sympathy in the studies of the 



6 

Society, a suggestion of the true nature of an incident in 
the life of Alexander Hamilton. For the accuracy of this 
the writer only is responsible. 

Alexander Hamilton was distinguished for so many and 
so various great qualities that he stands out among the most 
remarkable men of his time. His pride led him to defy 
enemies ; his ability was so joined to attractive manners 
and friendship for the worthy who were in distress, that he 
drew to himself the strongest affection of his friends. He 
had so nice a sense of propriety in pecuniary affairs that 
though he could ill spare it, he gave up his own claim on 
the United States for half-pay at the end of the war, that 
he might be the more free to support the just demands of 
his comrades and associates. Washington had been one of 
the first to discern his superior abilities, and gave him a 
place in his military family, and retained for him affection 
and confidence to the last hour of his life. Xo one has 
paid in words so full a tribute to his merits as Washington 
has done, or drawn his character so well. The bar of Xew 
York esteemed him in his day, as its ablest member: his 
political friends in the State of Xew York looked to him 
always for ideas, if not always for wisest practical counsel. 
Scarce another of his time was so remarkable in the variety 
of the pursuits in which he excelled, using well the sword, 
the pen, and the voice. He stands before the world as in 
his day the most genial representative of the opinions which 
he supported ; at the same time his articles in the Federalist 
interpreting the federal constitution, are marked by moder- 
ation. It is one of the beautiful elements of his character 
that, though, as he says himself, he was perhaps of all who 
accepted the Federal Constitution the one that liked it the 
least, his patriotism led him to be one of its ablest and 
firmest and most effective defenders. 

Hamilton has a peculiar right to be judged by all parties 
not with candor only but with the wish that every investi- 
gation about him may turn out to his honor. When an 



attempt was made to thwart the will of the country by the 
defeat of Jefferson after he had been elected to the Presi- 
dency, and when the federalists had carried their resistance 
to excess, Hamilton broke away from them and employed 
all his force of will and power of persuasion on the side of 
Jefferson ; bearing testimony from his own personal knowl- 
edge that he would not in his administration give up one 
tittle of the power that justly belonged to the federal 
government. For this he was pursued with the bitter and 
inflexible hatred of the man whose iniquitous aspirations he 
assisted to defeat, and who at last found an opportunity to 
assuage persistent hatred in his blood. 

On the sixteenth of February, 1781, Alexander Hamilton 
ceased to be a member of the family of General Washing- 
ton. The real cause of his retirement was his impatience 
at being in a situation where his labors were constant and 
engrossing but entirely private and obscure, giving him no 
opportunity whatever to distinguish himself "conspic- 
uously" in the war. His labors were entirely those of the 
closet, attracting no public attention and followed by no 
general applause. The manner in which he performed his 
duties justifies Washington's judgment of his ability. The 
Marquis de Chastellux 1 told all that needed to be told on 
the subject, when he said that Washington in selecting 



L Le Colonel Hamilton, ne a Sainte-Croix, et depuis quelque tems etabli en 
Amerique, se destinoit a la profession des Loix, et avoit a peine acheve ses 
etudes, lorsque le General Washington, instruit commetous les grands-hommes, 
a decouvrir les talens et a les employer, le fit a-la-fois son Aide-de-Camp et son 
Secretaire, place aussi eminente qu'importante dans L'armee Americaine. Des 
lors la correspondance avec les Francois, dont il parle et ecrit parfaitement bien 
la langue, les details de toute espeee, politiques et militaires dont il tut charge, 
developperent les talens que le General avoit su appercevoir et mettre en 
activite, tandis que le jeune militaire justifioit par une prudence et un secret 
encore plus au-dessus de son age que ses lumieres, la confiance dont il se 
trouvoit honore. II avoit toujours continue de servir en cette qualite, lorsqu'en 
1781, desirant de se distinguer dans le commandement des troupes, comme dans 
les autres fonctions qu'il avoit exercees, il prit celui d'un bataillon d'infanterie 
legere. Voyages de M. Le Marquis de Chastellux Dans [/Amerique Septen- 
trionale, Dans les annees 1780, 1781 et 1782. Seconde Edition. Tome Premier. 
A Paris. 1788. Pp. 311, 312, n. 



8 

Hamilton for his staff proved his quickness to discern 
superior ability, and that Hamilton justified the choice by 
his prudence, secrecy, and intelligence. The letters and 
papers which Hamilton prepared as secretary of the com- 
mander-in-chief are considerable in number, but not dispro- 
portionate to the length of time in which he served as 
secretary. He filled up Washington's idea of a good secre- 
tary, as one who should not be simply a copyist but able 
4 'to think" 1 for his employer. To a person who did not 
feel the craving for acting in the eye of the public, the 
position of Hamilton would have been as desirable as it was 
honorable ; but the work as we knoAV from himself, was 
performed with ever increasing disgust and discontent. 
Here lies the true and it may be said complete statement 
of the causes of Hamilton's retirement from the family of 
Washington. It was the result of a long- continued condi- 
tion of restless impatience to gain a name in the world by 
public action in the light of day. Any inquiry about the 
particular state of that feeling at any particular moment is 
needless. Chastellux in the passage above cited, says all 
that needs to be said on the subject. Hamilton in 1781 
was ' ' desirous of distinguishino- himself in the command of 
troops." 

But, since it has been attempted to give a different color- 
ing to the incident, it is proper to view it in all the light 
that can be brought to bear on it. 

And here a difficulty arises in the beginning. Hamilton 
requested Washington to preserve silence on the manner 
of their parting, promising to do the like. Washington 
acceded to the request, and not a word among his papers is 
to be found on the subject ; yet letters enough exist to 
show the state of mind and feelings of Hamilton. And 
besides, when the editor of Washington's writings was with 
Lafayette at La Grange, long before the Life of Hamilton 



i Sparks's Washington, III., 25S. 



by John C. Hamilton appeared, the General set the subject 
in its true light for the guidance of Washington's future 
biographer. 

With the use of authentic papers and the communication 
of Lafayette who passed repeatedly between Washington 
and Hamilton, the occurrence may be traced from its 



origin. 



On the fourteenth of October, 1780, Greene was 
appointed to the command in the South. Hamilton spoke 
to Washington "about going to the South." On the 
twenty-second of November of that year Hamilton wrote to 
Washington : "Dear Sir, Some time last fall, when I spoke 
to your Excellency about going to the southward, I 
explained to you candidly my feelings with respect to 
military reputation, and how much it was my object to act 
a conspicuous part in some enterprise that might raise my 
character as a soldier above mediocrity. You were so 
good as to say you would be glad to furnish me with 
an occasion. When the expedition to Staten Island was 
on foot, a favorable one seemed to offer. There was a 
battalion without a Field-Officer, the command of which I 
thought, as it was accidental, might be given to me without 
inconvenience. I made an application for it through the 
Marquis, who informed me of your refusal, on two princi- 
ples ; one, that giving me a whole battalion might be a 
subject of dissatisfaction ; the other, that, if an accident 
should happen to me in the present state of your family, 
you would be embarrassed for the necessary assistance. 

The project you now have in contemplation, affords 
another opportunity. I have a variety of reasons that 
press me to desire ardently to have it in niv power to 
improve it." 1 

Nothing came of this third application. Just at thai 
time the office of adjutant-general became vacant. Hamil- 



iSpurks"> Washington, III.. 152. 



10 

ton himself recommended to Washington Brisaclier-seneral 
Hand for the station. 1 Lafayette who had been Hamilton's 
very intimate friend agreeably to the ideas of the world, 
had increased his friendship to a "point that the world 
knows nothing about." In the conversation between the 
two, Lafayette promised to use his influence with Washing- 
ton to obtain the post of adjutant-general for Hamilton ; 
and he sent to Hamilton an outline of the letter of solicita- 
tion which on the twenty-eighth of November he addressed 
to Washington. In that letter he recommended the 
appointment of Hand or Smith, naming Hand first, but 
yet, on every public and private account advised him to 
take Hamilton. But while Lafayette was writing his letter 
Washington had left Xew Windsor for Morristown, where 
he fell in with Hand, at once made him the offer of the 
place, and in consequence of his acceptance wrote the letter 
to Congress for his appointment on or before the day on 
which Lafayette had written his letter in favor of Hamilton. 
Lafayette himself met Washington before his letter had 
been received ; and he showed his friendship for Hamilton 
by asking the commander-in-chief to recall the appoint- 
ment which, however, he very well knew to be a good one. 
Washington refused to recall it, and to Greene who had 
interested himself on the occasion, he soon afterward thus 
assigned his reasons : 

44 Without knowing that Colonel Hamilton ever had an 
eye to the office of adjutant-general, I did, upon the 
application of Colonel Scammell to resign it, recommend 
General Hand for reasons which may occur to you. One 
of them, and not the smallest, was, by having an officer of 
rank appointed, to guard against the discontents, which 
would have arisen in the inspector's department, if a junior 
officer to the present sub-inspectors had been appointed ; 
for you know, that, by the present establishment of the 



1 Works of Hamilton, I., 199. " Greatly in consequence of your advice." 
Lafayette to Hamilton, 9 December. 1780. 



11 

inspection, the adjutant-general for the time being is the 
second officer in the line. It would have been disagreeable 
therefore to the present sub-inspectors, some of whom are 
full colonels, to have a lieutenant-colonel put over them." 1 

There was every reason in favor of the preference of 
Hand. He had been about a year longer in the service 
than Hamilton, had as colonel commanded the regiment in 
wdiich Hamilton was a captain, had served with ability and 
distinction, and had obtained the rank of brigadier-general. 
Lafayette perceived the mistake he had himself made and 
owned it to Hamilton, saying: "I may have been a little 
blinded on the propriety of the measure." 

Here were four disappointments in rapid succession, but 
where General Washington appears to have acted in every 
case with justice and wisdom. Another disappointment 
followed from the action of Congress who unwisely with- 
held from him a position to which he had superior claims. 
A mission was to be sent to France to request aid for the 
army and it was held that the envoy should be a member 
of Washington's staff. Hamilton was the ablest member 
of that staff, and moreover, spoke and wrote French 
thoroughly well. Lafayette exerted himself to obtain this 
appointment for Hamilton ; he paid visits to members of 
Congress ; and was so certain of success that he prepared 
to send an express to Hamilton so soon as his appointment 
should be made. So sure of it was he, that he promised 
Hamilton to prepare for him an unusual reception in Paris 
and give him all the introductions that he could to the 
society of the ablest and most important of the statesmen 
of France, and to the members of the highest circle in 
social life in its capital. 2 

44 But Colonel Hamilton was not sufficiently known to 
Congress to unite their suffrages in his favor;" 3 so wrote 

iSparks's Washington, VII., 321. 

2 Hamilton's Works, I., 200. 

3 Laurens to Washington, 11 December, 17*0: J. C. Hamilton's Bistory of the 
Republic, II., 144. 



u 

Laurens to Washington. Xo member of Congress appears 
to have pressed Hamilton's appointment. Laurens was 
supported by all the influence that belonged to his father, 
who was of South Carolina and had been president of Con- 
gress, and he himself was most heartily loved by everybody 
that knew him. He was accordingly selected for the place 
almost without competition. Hamilton suppressed every 
complaint ; and was one of the foremost to announce to 
Laurens his satisfaction with the choice, but ever-increasing: 
discontent was finding its way into his heart. He brooded 
with bitterness on the thought that he had, as it were, 
concealed his ability in a kind of service that had one part 
of its merit in being secret. A feeling of morbid displeas- 
ure with himself for having left the line grew stronger and 
stronger within him. There rose in his mind the suspic- 
ion that there was something of selfishness in Washington. 
as though he was disposed to retain him as his secretary 
for the very reason that he did his work so well. It is on 
this state of things that Lafayette threw a clear light by 
explaining to Sparks as the future historian of Washington, 
that Hamilton in the routine of his duty, repeatedly in his 
intercourse with the commander-in-chief passed beyond the 
bounds of the respect that was his due. 

With this knowledge of Hamilton's state of mind let us 
turn to Hamilton's account of the parting interview, the only 
account that exists of it. He relates that meeting him on 
the stairs, the General told him he wanted to speak to him. 
Hamilton instead of waiting to receive the orders of the 
commander-in-chief brushed on saying he would wait upon 
him immediately. He went below, delivered a letter to 
another officer, and fell in with the Marquis de Lafayette 
with whom he conversed on a matter of business for what 
he represents as 4i about a minute.'" He found Washington 
still waiting for him at the head of the stairs after an 
absence of ten minutes, which Hamilton professes to have 
thought but two. Washington accosted him, saving: "I 



13 

must tell you, sir, you treat me with disrespect," and he 
certainly had treated him with wilful disrespect, and, as he 
and Washington knew and as Lafayette reports, had done 
it several times hefore. 1 The reproof of the young aide-de- 
camp who had repeatedly slighted the commander-in-chief, 
was deserved and was necessary, and was given in very 
moderate terms. Hamilton, who not long before had 
received from Washington a letter which began, "My 
dear Hamilton," and ended, "sincerely and affectionately 
yours," replied: "I am not conscious of it, sir, but since 
you have thought it necessary to tell me so, we part." 

Hamilton was still in the petulant humor which he had 
manifested before, and as he left Washington went directly 
to Lafayette to give him an account of the interview. 2 

The narrative of Hamilton which has been published, 
professes to be not from a letter but only from a draft ; and 
no one knows what variations from that draft Hamilton may 
have made in copying it for the eye of his father-in-law. 
General Schuyler appears to have destroyed the letter 
which he received ; for after thorough search made many 
years ago, it could not be found among his papers ; nor is 



1 Extract of a letter from Jared Sparks to George Bancroft : 

" Cambridge, April 14, 1859. 
As to Lafayette's account of Hamilton's difference with Washington, I 
find it agrees mainly with Hamilton's letter to Schuyler. (Life, I., 333.) I 
understood, however, that there had been neglect previously to the incident 
on the stairs, which would account for Washington's abrupt and unusual 
manner on that occasion. Lafayette said that he urged Hamilton to return 
to his post, and let the affair subside ; but this he declined, adding that he 
had wanted to retire for some time, and was willing to have an opportunity. 
It is known that Hamilton had urged Washington to give him a command in 
the army, but this was delayed on the ground that it could not then be done 
without interfering with the claims of other officers. Ambitious of being in a 
higher sphere than that of aide-de-camp, and suspicious that Washington 
designed to retain him in that place for the benefit of his Services, he became 
impatient, and this seems to have been the real cause of his disaffection. 

Verv truly yours, 

JARED SPARKS." 

2 Compare Irving's Life of Washington, IV., 230, 231. Henry Cabot Lodge : 
Life of Hamilton, 21, and 297. 



14 

the draft to be found among the Hamilton papers, that are 
in the possession of the United States. 

The first remark is, that the printed paper is one which 
Hamilton himself preserved. Washington, the other party 
of the interview, having' at the request of Hamilton kept 
silent as to the circumstances of the rupture, Hamilton 
was bound to do the same. He committed a grave error 
in preserving for other generations a copy of his own state- 
ment, privately and one might say secretly made, after he 
had imposed silence upon the person with whom he had 
held the interview. 1 

Next : Hamilton in making his excuses to his father-in- 
law is not altogether ingenuous ; he does not give as a 
reason that he was anxious to "play a conspicuous part as 
a military man ;" and he introduces a statement of his own 
antecedent mental deliberations which there does not seem 
the least reason for him to have made. 

Further, Lafayette, the very lirst 2 person to whom Ham- 
ilton related what had happened, Tilghman, and ever\ r 
other one of his friends whom he made privy to the affair, 
including his own father-in-law, advised him to go back 
and resume his place as secretary. 

If we look outside of the record and ask whether it 
may have been expected of Washington that in reproving 



1 Lafayette to Washington, 15 April, 1781. "Considering the footing I am 
upon with your Excellency, it would appear to you strange, that I never 
mentioned a circumstance, which lately happened in your family. I was the 
first who knew of it, and from that moment exerted every means in my power 
to prevent a separation, which I knew was not agreeable to your Excellency. 
To this measure I was prompted by affection for you ; but I thought it was 
improper to mention anything about it. until you were pleased to impart it to 
me." 

Washington's reply to Lafayette. "Head-Quarters, 22 April, 1781. The 
event, which you seem to speak of with regret, my friendship for you would 
most assuredly have induced me to impart to you in the moment it happened, 
had it not been for the request of Hamilton, who desired that no mention 
should be made of it. Why this injunction on me, while he was communicat- 
ing it himself, is a little extraordinary. But I complied and religiously fulfilled 
it." Sparks's "Washington, VIII., 22, and note. 

2 Sparks's Washington, VIII.. 22, note. 



15 

Hamilton he would have proceeded beyond the bounds of 
propriety, it must be answered, that if there be any one 
quality ascribed to Washington universally by every one, 
friends or those not his friends, it is that he was perfectly 
amiable. I have had in my hands thousands of letters 
written during the period of the revolutionary war, and in 
no one of them is there the least approach to a complaint of 
a want of perfect courtesy on the part of Washington. 
The camp is itself the great school of self-possession and 
reserve and reciprocal courtesy. To that Washington 
super-added the greatest possible kindliness of nature. 
There is no record of a complaint from any one on this 
score, except General Lee whom Washington publicly 
reproved and as publicly insisted that the language which 
he used in reproof was that of decorum and duty. 

As to Hamilton's services as secretary nobody is disposed 
to undervalue them, but as to whether he was a subordinate 
or a primal mover, the experimentum cruris decides the 
question ; for no one who takes up Washington's papers, 
and in this opinion the editor of his writings perfectly 
agreed, can tell where Hamilton's services as secretary 
began or where they ended. From his abrupt departure 
from Washington's family he lost for himself the oppor- 
tunity of having been consulted, when Washington made 
the magnanimous appeal to all the States in favor of union ; 
an appeal of which Hamilton at the time did not compre- 
hend the grandeur and the importance. For his fame in 
after life the early service in Washington's immediate 
vicinity was needed ; for by it he learned to watch from 
the central point the course of events throughout the United 
States, and so was in the best school of preparation for 
the public service. 

For the Council. 

GEORGE BANCROFT, 
STEPHEN SALISBURY, 
Committee. 



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KICKS em. J:'.' 



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